This Jeep Grand Cherokee Rises Over Traffic to Promote Verizon’s New Connected Car Tech
Sure, it’s a publicity stunt. But damn if we don’t want to drive it.
When it comes to capable off-roaders, the Jeep Grand Cherokee ranks at or near the front of the pack by most measures. Few SUVs on sale in America today can match its combination of on-road performance (especially in beloved SRT form) and off-road prowess, an arrangement that makes it more than suitable for both outdoor adventurers and suburban showoffs alike. (We bet you can guess which of those two categories buys more Grand Cherokees.)
But every now and again, even 10.8 inches of ground clearance isn't quite enough. Enter: the Hum Rider, a Grand Cherokee that's been rebuilt to rise up nine feet above the ground on telescoping hydraulic limbs so it can roll straight over traffic.
The Hum Rider was conceived of by marketing firm Thinkmodo and built by Scott Beverly of A2Zfx, according to Mashable. It was created as a publicity stunt for Verizon's new plug-and-play connected car system, Hum, which enables users to enable features like geo-fencing, vehicle locating, and emergency assistance into any car built after 1996 with a Bluetooth-connected speaker simply by plugging a dongle into the OBDII port.
As the video of it in action below reveals, it's every bit as surreal and awesome as you'd think.
While it may look effectively stock from the outside, the Hum Rider is anything but beneath the skin. The stock drivetrain has been ripped out and replaced with a gas-powered Honda generator under the hood, which powers the pumps driving hydraulic fluid at 900 pounds of pressure through hundreds of feet of cable to all four corners of the vehicle.
All those modifications mean the Hum Rider weighs in at more than twice the size of a stock Grand Cherokee—about 8,500 pounds, according to Mashable. Which means this Jeep probably can't even outrun Usain Bolt, let alone match a regular G.C.'s 100-plus-mile-per-hour top speed.
That said...we're totally going to wish we were driving this Jeep the next time we wind up stuck in traffic.